Downplaying Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting with US President Barack Obama, NCP chief Sharad Pawar today said the exercise is not going to serve any purpose as Obama’s term in office is coming to an end.
He also took a dig at Modi over his “frequent” foreign visits “at the time of drought” in many parts of the country, saying the BJP-led NDA dispensation has lost its appeal in the last two years.
Addressing the party workers who assembled here to mark the 17th Foundation Day of NCP, Pawar said, “See, Modi is Prime Minister of India, but is visiting foreign countries frequently.He meets Obama more frequently, notwithstanding the fact that Obama’s days in the office are numbered. Modi’s meeting with the US president is not going to serve any purpose. It’s a futile exercise.”
“In the last two years, the BJP is fast losing its sheen. This has been proved time and again by the frequent drubbings suffered by the BJP in the elections in Delhi, Bihar and West Bengal,” he said.
Pawar said the NCP could replace BJP in power if it works hard because initially the BJP too had only two seats.
“If the BJP can do it (come to power), then why cannot we? Rather we have bigger capabilities (sic),” Pawar said.
However, the Maratha strongman clarified that he was not against the foreign visits of Modi per se, but “people should be aware that these tours are taking place at a time when most parts of the country are reeling under severe drought.”
On the occasion, Pawar also asked Mumbai unit NCP chief Sachin Ahir to call on Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and “pressurise” the government in handing over the keys of 23,000 flats that have been constructed for the needy by different agencies.
“This is really unbelievable that 23,000 flats have been built and are lying unoccupied since the last 4 to 5 years. (Previous) Prithviraj Chavan government did not allot these flats to the poor and the Devendra Fadnavis government too is doing the same (not handing over possession of flats),” he said.
Pawar was referring to the housing units constructed under various welfare schemes by the government agencies, but not being handed over to the beneficiaries so far.
Interestingly, Pawar’s party was the ruling partner with Congress in the erstwhile Democratic Front government headed by Prithviraj Chavan in its last leg before it lost in 2014 polls.
“I am handing over this responsibility to Sachin Ahir to meet the CM and give him a deadline of 15 days to allot the keys of all flats. Otherwise, we will start agitation and would forcefully enter into these flats,” Pawar said.
During his address, Pawar’s confidante and former Union minister Praful Patel said the Modi government at Centre and Fadnavis government in state are working like “event management companies”.
Ahir alleged that the Sena-BJP combine, which rules the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, is responsible for the “plight” of Mumbaikars.